Egypt: A spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood announced that the group is making five urgent demands which the Egyptian government should comply with in order to avert several crises, according to a 19 January posting on the Muslim Brotherhood website.
Muhammad Mursi said the group wants Cairo to revoke the state of emergency, dissolve the People’s Assembly and hold free and fair elections, amend the constitutional articles that led to vote rigging in Egypt’s last elections, hold presidential elections according to those amendments, and fire the current government and form a national unity government responsive to the Egyptian people’s demands.
Comment: The Brothers are belatedly trying to take advantage of the Tunisian uprising. Mubarak could die at any time, but as long as he possesses his faculties he will not fall for lies by his personal security chief, as did Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and will not be intimidated by the Brotherhood.
Phi Beta Iota: Dictators will fall before faux democracies because they are on the thinnest ice in the face of angry connected young people with legitimate grievances. The PowerShift that Alvin and Heidi Toffler anticipated in the 19990’s has begun to occur. The other threat to civilization can be found in fundamentalists and relativists–those who treat faith as a cult or faith as a convenience. It is a mistake to regard the Muslim Brotherhood as threatening–they are more of an indications & warning. When the right precipitant comes along, Egypt will fall, and the other 43 dictators will follow in relatively quick (ten years) time. Now is when US covert action could shine, but first the White House and Congress and the military-industrial complex must be weaned of their love of dictators. This is also a time when holistic all-source analysis could shine, helping guide a 180 degree turn away from dictators and toward democracy in time for the 2012 “Awakening.”
Syria-Saudi Arabia-Lebanon: Syria and Saudi Arabia pledged to support efforts to stabilize Lebanon and preserve its security and unity, Reuters reported 29 July. A joint statement from Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al Asad also called for better inter-Arab relations, praised Turkey’s support for the Palestinians and called for the formation of a government in Iraq to preserve the nation’s Arab identity and security.
NIGHTWATCH Comment: The King has undertaken another strenuous trip through Arab lands to build an Arab front that blocks Iranian influence in Syria and inroads in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Syrian Alawites, the Sunni Palestinians of Hamas and the Shiite Arabs of Lebanese Hezbollah have afforded the Persians unprecedented access to Arab lands and business.
The Saudi King continues to try to limit or reverse the damage to what passes for Arab unity from Iranian subversion. Thus far his energies have been misspent. His initiatives have not weakened Iranian influence in any of the three target entities.
The Obama Administration means well, no question about it. They simply do not know what they do not know, and no one within the US Intelligence Community appears capable of speaking truth to power.
The truth that needs to be spoken is that Washington lacks both integrity and intelligence (as in thoughtful holistic decision-making). Washington lacks a strategic analytic model, it lacks a commitment to eradicating the ten high-level threats to humanity (terrorism is ninth, a traffic accident, nothing more), and it lacks a process for harmonizing budgets and behavior across twelve core policy domains as illustrated below.
Ambassador Mark Palmer is one of the most thoughtful, focused, practical, and hence impressive professional diplomats we have ever encountered. His book, Defeating the Real Axis of Evil, made a profound impression on all of us thinking about how to create a prosperous world at peace, and was the final nail in the coffin of U.S. foreign policy–no foreign policy that relies on supporting 42 of 44 dictators can possibly have morality, legitimacy, reciprocity, or transparency, all vital attributes if we are to nuture humanity toward clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability. Our review of the below book is entitled: Single Most Important Work of the Century for American Moral Diplomacy, and was posted November 30, 2003. We still believe that.